Here’s why the “How to Detox Your Home” issue is so important:
Fact #1: The average home contains 500-1000 chemicals and toxins, most of them we are unable to see, taste or smell.
Fact #2: Any body-detox method is worthless if you don’t detox your home as well. It’s just an endless cycle of releasing toxins while welcoming them right back into your body.
It’s like being a vegan-raw-food-health-and-fitness-freak while smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.
Common household and body care products have been found to have devastating health effects on the nervous and immune systems, on our reproductive systems and on our endocrine, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Many of them have been proven to cause cancer.
While these toxins can be tolerated by us in small doses, all kinds of health problems emerge when we are exposed to them in combination or large doses.
Our tolerance depends on many things like genetics, nutrition, alcohol and medication use and overall health.
But you can easily stop the chemical warfare in your home learn how to detox your home for you and your family.
Step #1 – Take Your Shoes Off
Did you know that you can reduce 60% of toxins in your home just by leaving your shoes outside?
Most household dirt, pesticides and lead (!) come in your home through your shoes. All you have to do is declare your home shoes-free to eliminate more than half of your in-home toxins.
Isn’t that easy?
Step #2 in How to Detox Your Home – Purify the Air
When it comes to indoor air quality, the chances are you’re better off wandering the fume-filled streets of Hong-Kong than sitting at home in front of the TV.
For example, home insulation doesn’t allow fresh air in, so you’re constantly breathing the same stale air.
Carpeting is a huge source of dust and traps dirt, fleas, dust mites and lead.
Try to keep your windows open as much as you can. Remove odors with baking soda, not with nasty chemical-sprays. Clean your air ducts and vents with non-toxic cleaners. Vacuum your carpets often, preferably with a HEPA filter vacuum.
(HEPA-filter vacuums capture the widest range of particles and get rid of allergens).
Air purifying Plants
Living plants bring the healing nature into your home. All plants improve the air quality in your home, but certain plants have been found to be extra-purifying.
The Peace Lilly, for example, mops up ammonia, acetone, ethyl acetate, benzene and formaldehyde from the atmosphere.
Here are the most purifying indoor plants:
Portable Air Purifier
This is especially important for those of us with seasonal allergies, asthma and respiratory problems.
The best place to put a HEPA air filter is in your bedroom, since that’s the room you use most (at least 7 hours of healthy sleeping, I hope).
A HEPA air purifier can reduce dust mites, mold spores, tobacco smoke, pollen, animal hair and dander, bacteria and viruses and more. It hardly makes any noise, it actually a relaxing white noise which helps me fall asleep at night. The Honeywell HEPA filter which I have covers rooms up to 390 square feet in size.
Control Your Mold
Check areas for moisture or leaks (especially basements). Regularly clean surfaces where mold grows. Use a homemade spray of Tea Tree Oil (about 8 drops) and water to prevent reoccurrence.
Step #3 in Home Detoxing – Cleaning Products
The common industrial cleaning products we use to clean our bathroom, kitchen, furniture and windows are loaded with toxic chemicals, some of them do not even appear on the label.
You breathe these toxins in when you use them, and they pollute the air in your home for days.
Replace generic air fresheners, furniture polishes, laundry products and household cleaners with non-toxic products made by companies such as Nature Clean Living.
You can also easily use basic ingredients you have in your home, such as vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. You can clean just about everything with this stuff just as effectively as with the industrial crap.
I very much recommend DIY Natural Household Cleaners Ebook – It’s an amazing resource about how to make all your own homemade cleaning products using simple, natural ingredients you have in your kitchen. I have it and I use it all the time.
Step #4 in Home Detox – Beauty and Body care Products
Just like cleaning products, common beauty and body care products are filled with toxins and chemicals. These penetrate your blood stream easily through your skin and burden your immune system with more work.
It’s highly important to avoid shampoos, soaps and lotions containing Parabens, synthetic fragrances, carcinogens (like the infamous SLS) and petrochemicals.
Replace your beauty products with organic all-natural ones, such as the wonderful Dr. Hauschka body & face skincare products (and makeup!)
Use pure essential oils instead of perfume.
Homemade Beauty Recipes
Anyone, and I mean anyone, can make their own amazing homemade beauty products. They are super-easy to do, they smell amazing and they work just like your store-bought toxic ones, I guarantee.
I’m currently in love with Heather Dessinger’s “DIY Organic Beauty“ e-book, which is a treasure-chest with 50+ all natural, toxin-free beauty recipes that are easy to make and work extremely well. I’ve tried almost all of them.
Some of them are: Cinnamon Vanilla scrub, sweet orange & honey shampoo and even a simple homemade bronzer. Check it out HERE.
Step #5 in Detoxing Your Home – Kitchenware
First, the plastic. Bisphenol A, found in plastic items such as drinking bottles, causes reproductive-system defects in animals. And I can assume in us too.
Try to minimize use of plastic in your home. Do not store food in plastic, do not heat food in plastic ever and plastic toys are not great either. At least stay away from children’s toys marked with a “3″ or “PVC.
Freezing stuff in plastic is just as bad.
Replace plastic storage containers with glass vessels and plastic drinking bottles with lightweight metal bottles.
Replace non-stick pans with ceramic or cast iron (Teflon contains perfluorinated chemicals (PFC’s) which have been linked to cancer and developmental problems).
After a long research, I’ve found these to be the safest and most convenient cookware options:
Ceramic Cook & Bakeware
I am a great fan of X-trema Cookware. They are easiest to clean, they heat evenly, hold flavors in food and most importantly – Do not leach anything into the food.
Cast Iron Cookware
As long as you don’t scrub it with soap and a brillo pad, a good-quality cast iron skillet can be a great non-stick surface. It cooks evenly and with good flavor. It can be used in the oven or on the stove top and we can all use the added benefits of extra-iron provided by cat iron cookware.
My favorite brand is Lodge Logic, especially my large skillet.
Step #6 in How to Detox Your Home – Shower & Laundry
We’ve already covered body-cleaning and beauty products, so all you’ve got left is laundry and your shower curtain.
Replace all your toxin-full laundry products with natural/homemade laundry products.
Making your own laundry detergent at home is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. It’s so much cheaper, it’s chemical-free, the clothes will still smell great, and they will last longer.
Again, check out DIY NATURAL for more natural cleaners, fabric softeners and anything you can make by yourself.
Step #7 in Home Detox – Water
This is a very important step in the “how to detox your home” plan. Why? Because our body is 70% percent water. The water you put into it.
What’s in your water?
Tap water contains more than 300 chemicals and pollutants, according to the Environmental Working Group. Some of them are chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, lead, mercury, endocrine disrupting chemicals, infamous Fluoride and you don’t want to know the rest.
Bottled water is saturated with nasty stuff leaking from bottles (yes, BPA again, among other things). Drinking filtered water is a better option than bottled water.
The 2 Best Water Filtering Options
After trying every water filter system on earth, here are my conclusions:
The 2-best water filtering options are Reverse Osmosis and Solid Block Carbon Filters. Here’s why:
Reverse Osmosis – Reverse Osmosis filter uses a membrane which removes many contaminants, along with Granulated Activated Charcoal to remove chlorine.
This system is placed under the sink and has a holding tank. The disadvantages of Reverse Osmosis is waste of water (“rejected” by the filtering system) and the removal of some of the minerals from the water (but the system adds the missing minerals back in the water).
Though it removes fluoride and many contaminants, Reverse Osmosis does not filter pesticides and herbicides.
Solid Block Carbon Filters – Quality carbon block filters will remove bacteria, chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, nitrate, fluoride and parasites.
They can even safely transform rain water and sea water (!) to drinking water.
They do take up counter space but on the bright side they are the least expensive in the long run and require the least filter changes.
Also, they do not remove minerals from the water, which is a huge plus.
We have the most common type of these systems – The Berkey. It comes in many sizes (for different uses – Home/office/travel) and in my opinion the best water filtering system today.
Step #8 in Home Detox – Clothes & Bedding
Wrinkle free and permanent press fabrics used for clothing and bedding commonly contain formaldehyde – use untreated fabrics where possible.
Try to avoid clothes with flame-retardants (children’s pajamas!!) due to the presence of PFC’s.
I’ve just finished replacing all the bedding in my house with organic bedding, for 2 reasons:
1. My 4-year old son developed a rash from his new Spiderman Set. The rash was gone when I changed it to a white organic set.
2. I realized that my dear family and I spend at least 7 hours every day lying on chemicals, Formaldehyde being one of them.
Conventional bedding supports chemical-heavy synthetic fabric production and pesticide-laden cotton farming.
Also, if possible, encase mattresses, box springs and pillows in dust-mite barriers.
Step #9 – Garden & Backyard
Of the 30 most commonly used lawn chemicals, 19 have studies pointing toward cancer and 15 are known to cause nervous system poisoning.
Also, the pesticides we use on our gardens eliminate not only plant pests but also most of the insects that are beneficial to help control these pests.
So, what’s a devoted gardener to do?
Avoid toxic pesticides and replace with non-toxic ones. Avoid common termite terminators and conventional bug sprays and make your own pesticides.
Step #10 – Detoxify Your Pets
If you have pets at home, you can’t control the dirt they bring in from splashing around outside all day (and we love them so much that it’s worth it).
But, you can definitely avoid the industrial chemical stuff you use to fight fleas, ticks and other tiny things that bite.
As fleas become increasingly resistant to the synthetic chemicals, pesticide manufacturers are making their products increasingly stronger — and more dangerous — in an attempt to keep pace with the parasites.
Instead, add some vinegar to your pet’s drinking water and make a vinegar spray as a natural solution for fleas that works amazingly well.
Finally, let’s not forget about emotional toxicity. If your home is filled with anger, jealousy, unhappiness and stress – It will remain toxic even if you do all of the above.
What about you? Are you planning to detox your home anytime soon? Which step will you take first?
To your health and happiness,
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